AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

Introducing the Smart City Cloud Innovation Center at ASU

Arizona State University (ASU) announced the ASU Smart City Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) powered by AWS, an initiative that focuses on building smarter communities in the Phoenix metropolitan area by using the AWS Cloud to solve pressing community and regional challenges.

The ASU campus-based center will address regional challenges using the AWS Cloud, with a specific focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The new center is designed as part of a long-term collaboration between ASU and AWS to improve digital experiences for smart city designers, expand technology alternatives while minimizing costs, spur economic and workforce development, and facilitate sharing public sector solutions within the region.

“The ASU Smart City CIC has the opportunity to bring tremendous value to the local community and its citizens,” said John Rome, deputy chief information officer at ASU. “We’ve been approached by city planners, health care administrators, and ASU faculty members to work on challenges around autonomous vehicle governance, healthcare management, urban resilience and a host of education-related challenges. The possibilities for the CIC are endless.”

One example of how the ASU Smart City CIC might contribute to the community is to develop a consistent street lighting system across the region. “We’ll standardize the processes and data collection from street light sensors so that city planners can integrate information from individual communities to formulate possible region-wide implementation plans, explained Rome. “The same processes can be used to address a wide range of regional issues as cities begin to incorporate IoT technologies into the infrastructure.”

Housed at ASU’s SkySong Campus in Scottsdale and staffed by AWS and ASU employees, the ASU Smart City CIC is scheduled to open in Q1 2019 and will support visiting scholars, faculty, student researchers, industry experts and community members to identify best-in-class solutions for smart city challenges.

The ASU Smart City CIC is the latest AWS CIC program, which employs Amazon’s innovation processes, cloud expertise, and global solution platforms. Other CICs include those at California Polytechnic University Digital Transformation Hub in San Luis Obispo, California and the Busan-Amazon Cloud Innovation Center located at Dongseo University’s Centum Campus in Busan, Korea.

ASU was named the most innovative school four years in a row by U.S. News and World Report. The introduction of the CIC is yet another indication of ASU’s commitment to bringing cutting-edge technology and innovation to those on campus and in the greater Phoenix community. In August 2017, ASU placed 1,600 Amazon Echo Dots in its Tooker House engineering residential facility, giving students access to a custom ASU-developed skill for Amazon Alexa. For the Fall 2018 semester, ASU collaborated with AWS Educate to launch its Innovation Scholar Challenge, which included a series of cloud skill-building workshops and on-campus hackathons.

Read the press release here.